|photo by Matt Kremkau
by Daniel Feuerstein
It's been two pre-season matches under the belt of the 2024 New York Red Bulls, but now things look pretty good. It feels like Sandro Schwarz's tactics are fitting in very early and with the addition of Emil Forsberg, and a fully fit Lewis Morgan back full-time from his season-ending injury. While we are seeing different lineups during these first two matches, it's nice to see them converting goals in abundance. So taking a look at these two games they have earned some solid victories.
While it's nice to see them pour in six goals against their opponents, playing a collegiate side like Florida Gulf Coast University was a decent scrimmage, but personally, I felt they should've handled them well. But the pre-season victory over the New England Revolution was a solid performance. While they have moved on from Bruce Arena and began the Caleb Porter era, they are still trying to fix their issues from within.
But what I would like to know is Schwarz influence truly rubs off on some of the players on the attacking side of the ball? While it's only pre-season Elias Manoel has already converted three times in two games. Dante Vanzeir has a brace and an assist, Mohammed Sofo has a brace, Julian Hall has a goal and an assist. If both Manoel and Vanzeir can become that big goal-scoring tandem to start the season, then there is a possibility they can start turning it on when we get to late February.
But it also means that the midfield might be better as well. When Forsberg was introduced to the MLS media, he was all business. He was ready for the challenge to come to MLS and to the New York Red Bulls from Leipzig, Germany. Of course, coming to a big city with bright lights won't phase him. Adding his quality to this midfield has already elevated this club to start the season. So at this moment, everything looks pretty good.
Yet they still have a match or two remaining in Bradenton, Florida, then fly back to New Jersey, then fly to Coachella for that tournament, and then start the season in Nashville at the end of February. But trust me, if you are feeling good at how this club is gelling in Pre-Season, that is the perfect feeling to have. Things are looking good at the moment, but this good feeling must translate to a better season, and earning positive results in all the competitions they will be performing in.